The New England Patriots added some much needed pass-rush help Friday.
The Patriots signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn, according to his Instagram account. ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the signing via a source.
The Patriots reportedly signed Clayborn to a two-year contract worth $12 million, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Clayborn had 9.5 sacks in 2017, including six in Week 10 alone. Clayborn, 29, has 167 career tackles with 30 sacks, one pass breakup and seven forced fumbles in seven career seasons. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Iowa. He’s spent the last three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
Clayborn projects to start at right defensive end opposite Trey Flowers. He also can kick inside and rush from defensive tackle on obvious passing downs. He’ll compete with Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Eric Lee, Keionta Davis and Geneo Grissom for the starting role.
Clayborn practiced against the Patriots as a member of the Buccaneers in 2014. He nearly injured Tom Brady after blocking offensive tackle Nate Solder into the Patriots quarterback during one joint practice.